In 2003, our group made an exciting discovery: seismic reflection profiling, a technique that has been used for decades to image the solid earth beneath the ocean, can also provide detailed images of thermohaline structure within the ocean itself. In a paper published in Science, we presented images of ocean structure across the front between the North Atlantic Current (a branch of the north-flowing Gulf Stream, which is relatively warm and salty) and the Labrador Current (south-flowing, relatively cold and fresh water). We think this opens up a whole new way of looking at ocean structure and dynamics: our data show, at unprecedented lateral detail, structures associated with eddies, double-diffusion, thermohaline intrusions, and internal waves. The pictures below showed the ocean in a way it had never been seen before.
Since 2003, we've been working steadily on exploring some of the many new applications of seismic oceanography (some of which are listed below). In addition, we are delighted to see that a number of other research groups have picked up on this topic, including groups in the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. For a more recent "news" update on the status of seismic oceanography, which highlights the work of the European GO consortium, see this feature published in April 2008 in Science.
You can see a complete list of the media news coverage of our work (including stories in Scientific American, Science, Earth magazine, and AAPG Explorer) on this page.
For research summaries of our work (past and present) in seismic oceanography, click on the links below: